Right, My old camera was a Sony DSC-P32
This was fully automatic, no zoom other than digital zoom, but all this did was crop the image down so a full zoom in was actually a smaller image. Anybody can do that in photoshop! To compare, this made this image:
In comparison, my new Canon Powershot S2 IS did this:
There are some differences in colour but thats probably due to the various different modes I have each camera on, and the fact I didnt give my new one much of a chance to auto–adjust. In terms of field of view you can see that the old camera is slightly more wider angle.
My new camera can ramp up to 12X optical zoom (without any other adapters) and an example of this is here:
After this there is a further 4X digital zoom (taking it up to 12×4= 48X zoom) however, digital zoom simply blows up the pixels so it looks rough and grainy but it gives you an idea of what 4X zoom is like.
Quite a few compact point and shoot cameras do have maybe about 4X optical zoom, an example is the Canon Powershot A610 which I have used and this is also quite impressive. I think any kind of zoom is better than no zoom since no zoom normally means you get a very wide shot with no option to focus your attention onto something you want to see the detail with.
Anyway, I shall eventually be putting up some of the photos I've been taking recently, so watch this space!